By Leigh Cohn, MAT, CEDS
Publisher, Eating Disorders Review
Reprinted from Eating Disorders Review
November/December Volume 24, Number 6
©2013 Gürze Books
Having just completed the sale of the Eating Disorders Review to the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp), this is our final issue under the current leadership. iaedp is the ideal new home for a publication that has long been at the epicenter of the eating disorders field.
A quarter of a century ago, when I met Mervyn Oakner, the founding publisher of the Eating Disorders Review, he asked my opinion about starting a clinical newsletter with Joel Yager as editor-in-chief. Joel was one of the first people I’d met in the eating disorders field, and I greatly respected him. I told Merv that it was a terrific idea, and I was envious.
Joel recruited many of the field’s most brilliant experts for our editorial board: James Mitchell, who is still on our editorial board, wrote the lead article of the premier issue in 1990, “Antidepressants vs. Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.” With Mary K. Stein attending to the bulk of the writing and editing as managing editor, the EDR became essential reading for clinicians and researchers, who wanted to stay current without combing through piles of journals. Before the internet, this print newsletter was the place to find lead articles by virtually every prominent authority in the field.
In 1994, Merv died, and EDR was acquired by Raven Press in New York. But, by July of the following year, they offered it to Gürze Books, a publishing company owned by my wife, Lindsey Hall, and me, and I became publisher. In our first issue, Walter Vandereycken contributed “Parents’ Educational Role in Eating Disorders,” and I included a letter introducing myself and our only significant change: blue ink instead of red!
Thus began my 18 years of collaborating with Joel and Mary, two of the finest, most professional people I’ve ever known. Most enjoyable were our editorial conference calls to discuss new topics, potential authors, and feedback about “Nibbles” cartoons that sometimes offended our more sensitive readers. I knew about every new book and covered most of the eating disorders conferences, bringing back reports about whom I’d seen and what I’d heard. Joel was always on the cutting edge of treatment advances and important research, often before it was published in academic journals. He’d tell us about visiting countless medical schools to do grand rounds and learn about their approaches to treating eating disorders. Mary would take it all in, follow up on our contacts, and pull it all together.
Fortunately, Mary will continue to serve as managing editor of the EDR for iaedp. However, both Joel and I are retiring from our positions with EDR. In addition to selling the EDR, Gürze Books has also sold its renowned Eating Disorders Resource Catalogue, blog site, and other assets to various buyers. Lindsey and I are keeping our trade book publishing company, but we have other interests we want to pursue. In my case, I want to devote more time to my painting, which can be seen at LeighPaintings.com. Also, I am retaining my position as Editor-in-Chief of Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. Joel, I’m sure, will stay busy with other editorial boards, teaching, his chairmanships with the American Psychiatric Association, piano, and grandchildren.
I personally sought out iaedp about acquiring the EDR, because I believe its mission of providing education and training for eating disorders treatment providers makes it a perfect fit for this esteemed publication. Joel and I are currently working with them to select a new editor-in-chief for their January/February 2014 issue, and we know that Mary will provide ample leadership.
My envy was justified in ways I could not have imagined. Publishing the EDR helped me to stay current as the eating disorders field developed and technology advanced. When Gürze Books took over the EDR, there were only a few hundred paid subscribers, it was a paper publication. Now it is entirely online and 12,000 readers receive each issue for free. Additionally, we created an archive of more than 1,000 articles at EatingDisordersReview.com that will remain available for years to come. I also had the opportunity to interact with a superb editorial board, whose behind-the-scenes contributions guided the EDR and whose efforts I have much appreciated. However, my greatest reward has been the association and friendship with Joel and Mary. They have enriched my life immeasurably, and I will be forever grateful.